Human clones will soon be living among us. Ever wonder what that might be like? Will they look and act like everyone else, or will there be something missing, some barely noticeable oddity?
At some point in the future, you might find yourself working or studying right next to a cloned human, and not even know it. Until something bizarre happens. For all you know, your best friend or the one you live with might be a clone. Who knows? You might be a clone yourself.
This may sound like science fiction, but the mood of Hickies is more philosophical than high-tech or scientific. The futuristic theme becomes a mere stage upon which to explore the depths of the human psyche and soul, and to inquire into what it means to be human.
In this volume, the fictional work Hickies is complemented by four other short stories, all by the same author, and all of which may be represented as one layman’s ruminations and as simple forays into the fields of psychology and moral theology.
This novella disturbed me in some very uncomfortable ways, it made me examine whether there is a possibility that, regardless of race or species, history could very well have a habit of repeating itself. If the thought of the ghettos and labour camps of World War II make you uncomfortable, this may not be the book for you; regardless of that there is one thing this book will make you do, and that is think deeply about the world we now live in and the relationship between religion and science.
At first I was a little bothered by the fact that the characters had no real depth and substance to them, but as I continued reading I realised that this omission may very well have been a deliberate act on the part of the Author. So little is known about the personality, traits and general reality of human cloning that by omitting any of the things that go into making us what we are the Author adds to their topic very nicely, and this leads to more questions being asked of themselves by the reader; How would I react? Would I support them in my Community?
The downside to this novella for me, and the reason it didn’t get the five thumbs it may have, were one, the typos I came across which should have been easily picked up by a competent proof-reader and two, the novella becoming very religion based and preachy towards the end. Rather than continuing the possible reasons behind what it means to be human, I felt that the Author was telling me that if I did not have religion in my life it was pretty much not a life. I am not sure if the Author let their personal feelings on this subject enter the book but, for me, it felt as if the novella suddenly turned into a recruiting tool for the Catholic Church. However, this did not make me miss the connection between the plight of the clones and the aid from the Church and those same connections that were made between Church and the Jews in WWII; this was not the only comparison to be found, and to reveal others would spoil the book for future readers. Apart from the two points mentioned I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and finished it in a single day due to its engrossing nature.
I would highly recommend this novella, and the accompanying short stories which I have not reviewed here, to anyone is interested in psychology, philosophy and science or anyone looking for a good read that is not going to take days to complete; it would also make a good addition to any book club reading list due to the discussions it could foster. I will definitely be reading more from this Author as I am interested to see how their style and technique develop as they become more proficient.